By Rabbi and Chef Avi Levy
A classic bit of Mediterranean Cuisine made healthy without chemicals, nitrates or junk. It's a very easy recipe and will have your mouth watering. I use the lamb from KOL Foods
This is a great recipe for everyone. I've prepared this for dinner parties, cooking demos and just for my family. It's always a big hit. One of the great things about it is that it doesn't take long to prepare, you can make a big batch at once and it reheats well. I want to thank my friend Hadassah Sabo Milner for the inspiring this recipe.
2 lbs. ground lamb like Kol Foods
10 fresh basil leaves - chopped
1 red onion - diced
¼ - ½ cup mint sauce
1 tbs of brown sugar
½ tsp. granulated garlic
4-5 fresh mint leaves – chopped
2 large tomatoes - diced
¼ - ½ tsp. kosher salt
2 - ¼ tsps. of cinnamon
½ to ¾ cups of lamb broth
¼ cup good red wine
1/8 – ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp. ground cumin (optional for Sephardic traditions)
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions. While the onions are starting to sweat, mix the koftas.
In a large mixing bowl combine the lamb, sugar, garlic, half of the basil, half of the kosher salt, and ¼ tsp. of the cinnamon. Add cumin, if following Sephardic custom.
Gently mix it together and then form small meatballs around the size of a quarter to half dollar. Add them to the pan with the oil and onions. Brown all sides of the meatballs. (about 5 minutes.)
Lower heat. Add the tomatoes, remaining salt, half of the remaining basil, mint leaves, the mint sauce (see recipe below), the lamb broth and the red wine. Let simmer about 15-20 minutes. (Breath deeply because the aroma will make you smile broadly.)
After 15 – 20 minutes, add the other ¼ tsp. of cinnamon. Add the remaining basil and for Pesach, serve over quinoa. Garnish with mint or basil leaves.
Put a bunch of fresh, finely chopped mint leaves in a saucepan, cover with some white vinegar, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Simmer 5 minutes. Place in bowl or bottle, let cool, store in the refrigerator till needed. It gets better with age.
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Now once you’ve planned your menu, had a two meaningful Seders and saw your guests leave happy, full and raving about the food . . . get a good nights sleep, you’ll need it. The next day, toast yourself with a smooth cabernet or my KFP Cosmo
Rabbi and Chef Avi Levy has been creating in the kitchen since he can remember. As a child he learned to cook everything from eggs and fish to BBQ, likely because his mother hated to be in the kitchen and it seemed the only way to get a meal he liked to eat. Avi worked his way through college as a kosher butcher as well as a chef. Both Avi and his wife are Sephardic and trace their roots to Turkey. He's at home in the kitchen, at the grill or in front of a fryer.
As a film maker (Avi's first profession) he has received numerous awards including Emmys and Tellys. His documentary work has been seen on PBS and NBC, and he has even worked with the legendary Julia Child.
Avi received his Rabbinical smicha from Rabbi Abraham Wosner and teaches regularly in South Florida. Visit Avi at his website aviskosherkitchen.com and on his Facebook page Aviskosherkitchen.
Recipe: Kosher, meat, passover, pesach